In March 2019, U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren suggested that Facebook should be broken up. This was followed by several others who felt the same way. Warren’s proposal included all large tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google, but the idea of Facebook’s breakup was recently supported by Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s co-founders.
On the other hand, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri feels that this move would reduce the regulation abilities of Instagram. Mosseri says that breaking Instagram away from Facebook would result in an increase of unwanted content, as Facebook’s incorporation is responsible for much of the content monitoring.
According to Mosseri, there are more Facebook employees dedicated to handling content quality and control than there are at Instagram. “If you’re trying to solve election integrity, if you’re trying to approach content issues like hate speech, and you split us off, it would just make it exponentially more difficult – particularly for us at Instagram – to keep us safe,” he said.
Facebook feared to be too strong
Hughes and Senator Warren are concerned that Facebook possesses too much power with over a billion users. The aim of the breakup is to keep Facebook in line. Hughes also feels that Facebook shouldn’t own Instagram and WhatsApp so that there will be more competition in the social media industry.
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, says that breaking up the tech giants wouldn’t fix the fundamental problems in the industry. Sandberg says, “While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States with the size and power of Chinese companies, and the realisation that those companies are not going to be broken up”.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer, shares the same views as Mosseri. “The amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems is greater than Twitter’s whole revenue this year,” says Zuckerberg. “We’re able to do things that I think are just not possible for other folks to do.”